For construction workers, falls are the most common on-the-job hazard. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA), falls accounted for 38.8 percent of construction fatalities in 2015 - the single biggest cause of construction worker death.
Despite the alarmingly high number of falls, such incidents are actually easy to prevent. The use of proper safety equipment, especially harnesses, is vital. Sadly, however, many employers do not follow appropriate safety protocol.
At Golitko & Daly in Kokomo and Indianapolis, IN, we handle complex cases involving construction accidents and lack of harnesses. After a complete case evaluation, we can determine the party responsible for the improper safety measures. Then we can often help you obtain more money than worker’s compensation would provide. Beyond that, a just legal case can prevent such blatant disregard for employees’ well being from occurring in the future.
Construction Falls: A Look at the Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that falls are a problem for construction employees. According to their data:
- Falls from roofs are the most common type of construction fall. After that, falls from scaffolding and ladders were the other two most frequent types.
- Construction laborers are the most likely to suffer a fatal fall. Carpenters, roofers, and structural metal workers also face significant risks.
- In 1993, the rate of days away from work due to a disabling fall in the construction industry was twice the national average. For every 100 workers, there was an average of one day away from work as a result of a fall.
- It is estimated that construction workers will be out of work twice as long after a fall than workers in other trades. The median time away was 14 days.
The Importance of Safety Harnesses
Though falls are common, they are also one of the most easily preventable construction accidents. Proper safety equipment should consist of three different parts: an anchorage component, body wear, and a connector. When such devices are in place, falls are less likely and will have less serious effects.
Sadly, however, employers often do not provide appropriate equipment. Other times, they do not offer sufficient training. As a result, workers may wear harnesses too loose, or they may not know that they should wear them at all times. Furthermore, there are many types of safety harnesses. Workers should be supplied with the kind that is most appropriate for the job at hand.
The Devastating Consequences When Harnesses Are Not in Place
Because construction sites often encompass multiple levels and significant heights, falls can result in severe injuries. Without safety harnesses, workers can suffer from:
- Spinal cord injury (including full or partial paralysis)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Temporary, long-term, or permanent inability to work
A Qualified Construction Accident Attorney Is Key
If you or a loved one suffered a fall at a construction site, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Our experienced work injury lawyers will investigate the incident to determine if safety harnesses were on site or to see if you were provided with sufficient safety training. If either of these things were missing, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Although this money cannot restore your health, it can certainly help with medical bills and therapy, if applicable. If you were put out of work, or if you are the dependent of a deceased loved one, these funds can also provide for your long-term needs.
Contact Golitko & Daly Today
With our exclusive focus on work injury cases, we are an outstanding choice for your legal counsel. Contact our firm for a consultation and find out if you have a viable personal injury case.